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Charter’s opening is set for ’14 after snafu

A technology-centered charter school approved to open this fall with some conditions will delay opening until 2014, according to a statement from the school.

Carpe Diem Indiana announced Monday that opening the Fort Wayne campus, Carpe Diem-Summit, will be postponed because of delays in finalizing a lease agreement. Despite the delays, the school still hopes to locate at The Summit, a building on the former Taylor University campus, at 1025 W. Rudisill Blvd.

Carpe Diem-Summit was approved to model Carpe Diem-Meridian located in Indianapolis. The school would be run by Carpe Diem Learning Systems, an education management company based in Arizona. The Indiana Charter School Board approved the application for the Fort Wayne campus earlier this year with one key condition.

The school serving grades six through 12 was to show evidence by July 15 that its enrollment would fall between its break-even point and its goal of 130 students for the first year. The break-even number would likely be about 100 students.

The charter’s plan anticipated 130 students and 13 teachers its first year. Estimates put enrollment at 300 after three years with 15 teachers. The school has a capacity of 600 students.

The Indiana Charter School Board will sponsor the school, which teaches students using an individual online curriculum. Students split their time between independent learning on computers and collaborative workshops with teachers and classmates.

The school met heavy opposition during its public hearing in Fort Wayne, with very few speaking in favor of the school. Some expressed concern about the quality of education students at the school would receive, while others questioned the need for the school with other options already available locally that successfully incorporate technology.

Carpe Diem Learning Systems co-founder and CEO Rick Ogston said the delay is an opportunity for the school to engage with the community to help more people understand the school’s blended learning model.

“While we are eager to work with our partner Ambassador Group at the Summit location, the leasing and financing agreements could not be finalized soon enough to allow us to complete several other steps necessary for a successful opening this August,” Ogston said in a statement.

“We look forward to partnering with the Fort Wayne community, the Ambassador Foundation and many others in the near future.”

In the next six months, Carpe Diem Indiana will “implement a plan to develop solid community partnerships with the goal of creating a better understanding of Carpe Diem Learning Schools’ unique and personalized education model,” the statement added. Informational meetings will be announced at a later date.